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It is impossible to understand any human society without exploring its emotional rhythms, from the most dramatic to the most subtle. For too long, historians have ignored this simple truth… Yet in the Middle Ages, emotions were everywhere.
As a late medievalist who has recently moved to Scotland, I was disappointed to learn that the Burrell Collection in Glasgow – home to the many medieval treasures once owned by the shipping magnate and prolific collector, William Burrell – is closed over the next two years.
The British Library’s new exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War’ is a celebration of Anglo-Saxon culture and learning, mainly represented though the texts produced during that period.
This is an extremely ambitious, thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring book.
On the 18th of June, 1556, Mr Francesco, a second-hand goods dealer with a shop near the clock tower in Piazza San Marco, borrowed two Greek manuscripts from the collection that would later become the heart of Venice’s famous Marciana library: Proclus on Platonic Theology, and The Commentary of Hierocles on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras.
The 13 essays in this book are the outcome of a conference (with the addition of a few other papers) held at Winchester University in September 2011.
In 1372 Renatus Malbecco, a Milanese ambassador, arrived in Avignon for a meeting with Pope Gregory XI. His embassy was evidently unwelcome: he was ‘received with insults’ and promptly sent away. An observing diplomat recounted this event in a couple of terse lines. A little over a century later it was the turn of Ludovico il Moro of Milan to dismiss a visiting envoy.
The Andalusian jurist Abū Bakr al-Ṭurṭūshī (d. 1126) was once asked whether or not it was permissible to eat cheese imported into Alexandria from the Christian territories along the northern coastline of the Mediterranean. The question clearly intrigued al-Ṭurṭūshī, since he went to considerable lengths to research the subject before issuing his final response.
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Daniel Snowman talks to Peter Burke about his background, career, influences and forthcoming book.
Peter Burke is Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.
Daniel Snowman is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster on social and cultural history.
Romance and the Gentry in Late Medieval England is, above all, a well-researched and enjoyable book, designed to persuade the reader of the relationship between the late medieval gentry, romance and book production.